Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday the 29th

Sabado ang 29 Nobyembre

Mabuhy (live long, actually "long live", a wish for long life for others) . . .We had a forewarning by James regarding the all day brown-out scheduled for today. We arose early, walked, prepared breakfast and left for Iloilo for the day.

We had a nice drive and stopped at the mission office to drop off cargo and some luggage one of the sisters borrowed to transfer here to Antique. We went to the Atrium for groceries and we finally found a fishing shop. I bought a rod, reel, some leader, hooks, sinkers and a small box to carry my gear. It was pretty cheap, about 1/3 the price of back home, or less. I am pumped to go fishing on Monday. I think I will try my luck at Dao. The guy at the fishing shop gave me the name and number of a guy in Anini-y who one can hire to take one out fishing. I will probably go by myself for fun, or take a few missionaries that have been trying to fish on Mondays. We will see.

We had a nice lunch and stopped back at the mission home to see if they have any fans for the Elders in Antique. They did not, so we fixed a soft drink in the parking lot and hit the highway. By the time we walked in the door, the power was working fine and the coolers are going strong.

River skyline in Iloilo coming back from lunch. I'm thinking some rich folks live along hererk
Yesterday we took James to the family history library at San Jose Chapel. We picked up the missionaries  at their house headed to the chapel. We (mostly they, Elders Tolentino and Tracy) helped James find a good deal of information on his ancestors. The important thing for us to go was, I have the keys to the building and library. Sister Sessions did her think cleaning the building and the Elders hooked-up James with a user name and password for Family Search. org and I think he really enjoyed the experience. He found a lot of information and got confirmation that his grandfather changed their name when he landed in America from Sicily. James found even the name of the ship aboard which his grandfather entered New York at Ellis Island. It was really fun for all of us, especially James. . He has the Spirit of Elijah already. We had a good time.

Hamtic. This is a favorite place for me to park and check the skies or to take a walk on the beach.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Bugasong Visit

Thursday ang 27 Noby

President Amar and I went to Bugasong to meet with and interview President Tandoy. There was a bit of rain, so we went to President T's so he wouldn't have to ride his motorcycle into town. We went to what passes for a church and met in what passes for his office.

We had a prayer and explained that Pres. Amar and I would serve as high counselors to Bugasong until suitable brethren can be called. We talked about training and the duties of a branch president. I left and let Pres. Amar interview as the District President. He told me later that Pres. Tandoy gave him a big grin at the end. It appeared to him that Pres. Tandoy was very pleased to finally get some training on how to be a branch president. 
This is the view from outside the Bugasong church address.
I took the presidents to lunch. I could eat nothing on the menu, so I grabbed two parks of peanuts from the truck and ordered Mountain Dew. That was lunch. They had, pancit, rice, eggs, a pizza, a halo halo each and Mountain Dews. Here is a very poor picture:
President Amar and I visited about customs all the way to Bugasong and part of the way home. Pres. Shared much of his life story as well. He is a very talented man. It was a good, valuable trip. It was good training for both presidents, and a good example of what high counselors must do if leadership is going to take hold here. We go back to Bugasong for meetings Sunday and we hope one of the meetings will be PEC and we will start focusing on visiting and inviting less actives back.

When we got back to San Jose, I Took Pres. home, then stopped at my favorite fruit stand. Mangos are sweetening and they have been getting some good big ones. I bought about four kilos and a bunch of bananas.
There is a typhoon going on right now. They say it is a low category, but it is like rainy season again. I like it. The cocks quit crowing and the dogs hide and quit barking. The rain is loud, but the temperatures are moderate. I believe the water is needed for rice. So, I am thankful. Thanksgiving at home, my favorite holiday. Here, not much happening holiday wise. Found out today that Tagalog does not use Halong (take care). Another surprise. In Tagalog it ia "ingat". Ingat po. 

Monday, November 24, 2014


Lunes ang 24 Nobyembre
We skipped a zone rehearsal for our Christmas skit, but I am going to play King Noah. . . how hard can it be to portray a wine bibber? I can do that. We had to go to Iloilo. We were out of about everything.

It was a beautiful day. The air even cooled a bit for he evening drive back.
Pictured is the morning sky out over Anini-y. We had an enjoyable drive in after my Tagalog lesson. The lesson was good. I am very slow and realize that I will not achieve fluency in any of the language, but it is fun to understand a few things being said around us.

We hit MacDonald's and went to SM to try and find a filter for the kitchen sink. No luck. We hit the National bookstore and bought two fun gifts for the Christmas gift exchange. We went to Robinsons in Iloilo Proper for groceries and to check the hardware store for a filter. No filter, but we bought some things we really need, but I forgot pickles. . . 

Some pictures from the walk over the street from the parking lot into Robinson's. 

We got home, unpacked our treasures and did our Family Home Eve. We watched another talk from Conference.  We watched Elder Chi Hong Wong's talk on rescuing through the work of the ward council. It was very appropriate and timely for me. 

Pres. Amar and I are going to Bugasong Branch to interview the Bugasong Pres on Thursday. And, we hope to train a little at the same whack. Elder Wong's talk describes exactly where we are heading. Bugasong was once a thriving, growing branch. No idea what happened, but it is about ready to fold up. We will use Luke 2 and the handbook to guide us. Pres. Amar and I have been assigned to act as high counselors to Bugasong until permanent men can be called. 

James attended church at Hamtic yesterday. Step 1 in attendance accomplished. Tomorrow is district and we can ask how he enjoyed the meetings. 

We are told that there will be a "brown-out" Saturday from 7-5. We will likely go back to Iloilo for the day. We still need to find a filter, and we are hoping to see our cargo from Amy.

Speaking of Amy. . . Tomorrow (in America) is her birthday. I know it was a while back, but it still feels like a short time. Much has changed since that day. Our family has grown exponentially. Amy has children of her own and she is a superb mother. She has made it possible for us to go on another mission by managing all our stuff. What a blessing she has been to us. 

She is bright, has a wonderful sense of humor. She has become pretty tough. She is a hard worker and empathetic to those who have greater trials than we. As a father, I could not ask for more. I don't have any idea what I would ask. I know The Lord loves her and she is considered a daughter by Him because of her deep belief in Him and her reception of Him through the "Gospel". See Doctrine and Covenants 39:4-6. She is there.

We wish you, Amy, our sweet daughter, a wonderful day. Fill it with fun and joy and love; things wherein you have become masterful. Love You. Dad and Mom 

Sunday and 23 Noby.

 Yesterday we exercised at the Binaraya track we saw missionaries and members. It was very busy. I painted a little, and read from the Doctrine and Covenants. 
I saw (imagined) this girl from the concrete wall outside the house, so I did a quick sketch/watercolor, and I liked it.
I saw her in the corner section. Maybe you will see her. On the wall she is not holding a flower. Tough to see her in this, but I am going to start looking more closely for inspiration in, and on, things that surround us. It is fun and satisfying.

We went to Leadership Meeting at 1:30. Only one branch president came, late. Pres. Amar taught n Strengthening the Aaronic Priesthood. There were many Aaronic Priesthood holders there and many branch leaders there from Sibalom, a few from San Jose, one from Culasi (Brother Francis) and one from Hamtic. The training was good, but disappointing because BP's ignored the invitation to come and learn how to "act"' Section 43:8-9.

Went to church at Sibalom, mostly to get information for President Aquino on young men who had been entered by their president for missionary application. There are four in Sibalom. I got the information and we enjoyed a good Sacrament Meeting, but I became sick about half way through and we came home after. Resting now and drinking water. Feeling some better.

A pretty sky this morning on the way to church.

I would like to be able to portray the skies of the Philippines in watercolor. Very beautiful skies here,almost every day. There are beauties at home too, especially sunsets, sunrises, and storms. 

Martes ang 25 Noby

District meeting this morning. Elder Dacutan taught on being, "Fishers of Men". We had some good discussion. Elder Ramos brought up the faith moving mountains and that "mountains" may be taken metaphorically as something that appears large and immovable to us. I thought, "Yes, like Word of Wisdom problems, or debt, or sickness, or ??? What is our mountain? Faith in the Savior and His Atonement can move our mountain and level the thing. 

Elder Oaks spoke sometime ago on Fishers of Men and said we needed to have our line in the water if we wanted to catch fish. The missionaries, often, complain about being too shy and not opening their mouths tofind new investigators. They are sometimes not obedient, and they don't keep their lines in the water. Some reported good things this morning about talking to many every day. It is paying off for them. Their lines spend more time in the water. 

Good meeting. Then they started practicing for the Christmas Party. They will perform a dance and a skit. They worked on the dance today. Here are some pics:
Elders Kellerstrass, Asi, Tracy, with Elder Ramos in the foreground.
Kind of fuzzy, But this is Elder Robertson, Sister Crisanto in back, and. Blurry Sister Ribelinon the right.
Elder Robertson, Elder Orr standing and Sister Haun looking on.
Dancing up a storm. Elder Chapman in the rear right. Elder Ducutan, our district leader and Elder Chapman's Companion in the white T-shirt middle. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Miyercoles ang 19

Amy informed us yesterday that Aunt Helen died. I am sure of the warm reception she will receive. My mother loved her very much and her son, Kim, will be excited to welcome her. I believe Aunt Helen had sort of a tough life. But, she and her children always seemed to bond and independently live their life. She always seemed shy and quiet and a little, for lack of a better word, inward. I liked her and her children. Tina and Kim were closest in age to me and so we had cousin fun.

Yesterday we attended district meeting. Elder Orr taught about revelation from the BoM. He is assigned in Sibalom. He is from Canada and is "large in stature". We had a good discussion and reports were good from the companionships. 

We went to Sibalom and picked up hymn books and my scriptures. We have been taking hymn books, about 10 at a time for repair. My scriptures were falling apart, I think from humidity, so after seeing what an excellent job the man and his wife did on binding some of the missoinary's PMG's, we decided to get hymn books repaired and I took my scriptures too. I am pleased at the job they did and pleased to have my scriptures back. I hate reading scriptures on the i-pad.

I met with President Villavert at 1:00 and we went over some items to announce at Leadership Meeting Saturday and some plans that he and his counselors might consider to help the District. We struggle so much, especially in the branches and branch auxiliaries. It is overwhelming, and so, while missionaries keeep finding, teaching, and baptizing, the district remains stagnant and stationary. Then, we lose our newly baptized brothers and sisters to inactivity. Praying for help. Trying to be patient. Reading the handbook just clarifies our dilemma.

Today we are hauling chairs to Tibiao for their group meetings. Nothing else on the horizon beside thinking about, and hoping for inspiration. 

Some photos I want to record here:

I finished a quick portrait of Sister Villavert yesterday. I snapped a picture of her last week when she was over practice baking with sister S. She was looking down, with partially closed eyes. She has sort of a classic Filapina look, not so much asian. She is a character. When she was younger and her husband was off to sea, she used to go ride the Ceres bus and preach for money. I think she was preaching Mormonism. . . Funny to me. 

Monday, November 17, 2014


17 Nobyembre

We just got home from Iloilo. We took the application for branch status for Culasi to President Aquino. We also took seminary/institute information to the Jalandoni Chapel CES office. Then we had lunch at MacDonalds with Elder and Sister Robinson. We got groceries at SM and headed home.

Sunday we sent to Hamtic, hoping to meet up with James, but he was a no show. I worry that he is a stroker, but he seems a good man. We will let it all play out as the young Elders plan. When we got to Hamtic Chapel, the branch presidency asked if I would speak. Elders Tracy and Dacutan were speaking. I was asked to be the concluding speaker.

I spoke on the parable of the Prodigal Son and I think it went okay. The Lord is so concerned with lost sheep (us), and everybody knows at least one to invite back. The Lord watches us to return to him and he welcomes us . . .

I attended the high council meeting in the afternoon. We looked at the handbook and made some good plans and President Villavert gave good instruction. It is exciting to see us moving in the right direction, no matter how slowly we are advancing.

Sister S and I had Family Home Evening a few minutes ago. We watched and discussed Sister Esplin's talk on the Sacrament from the last conference. Her talk impressed me then and it was powerful this evening as well. We were impressed that Sister Esplin explained the Sacrament allows us enabling power to go about the our lives the following week and keep the commandments, remember the Savior, and serve Him by serving others. I was very impressed when she reminded us that when the Aaronic Priesthood prepares, blesses, and passes the Sacrament, they act for and in behalf of the Savior in doing so. What an honor that is to contemplate. I don't know that I have ever heard this taught to our Aaronic Priesthood brethren. Good FHE for us this week.

A few pictures:
The Sky outside SM this afternoon. The Philippine skies are spectacular. It was a 360 show today.

A couple of my batch. I was at recycle center in San Jose with Djulito yesterday, cashing in bottles and cans for a few pesos. I just had to get these two down for posterity and drawing.

This is sort of a famous picture with one researches Iloilo on the Internet. It comes up in Iloilo architecture. This is the cemetery at San Juaquin. This also might be a good art subject.

Friday, November 14, 2014

15 Nobyembre

Saturday Morning
We walked this morning along the beach out of Hamtic. I had to drop videos off at the Elder's apartment from the wifi shop in San Jose. The shop folks were not able to get the complete download done last evening. We had a nice walk. It was a little tough on the knees walking on the slanting sand, but it was a good workout, in an beautiful place.

After Sister Sessions and I got home last evening from Tibiao/Culasi/Pandan, I went to Barangay Funda to find the Elders from Hamtic and go get videos made at the Wifi Cafe in San Jose. I met them at the waiting stand along the highway where I talked to these two guys carrying their roosters. Pictured here are the "winners". A dead cock lay on the table beside the shed. I pointed to him and said, "Looser?" They laughed and said yes. Through much struggle, I asked them how much they won with winners and the told me a thousand pesos. I couldn't get it across to ask how much for the loser. Maybe they only get to eat him.

Elders Tolentino and Tracy arrived at the shed and we went for several hours to get the videos made at the Wifi Cafe, pictured below.
Good missionaries here. Elder Tracy has been here only about 10 days. Elder Tolentino is a great trainer for him. We are going to see James this afternoon with them. We are pleased that they invite us to come along.

Pictured here are the fish catchers/scoops that I mentioned in the last entry. This is a small one. They make them about twice this size, but this man was pretty good at catching, one with the machine. . . Notice the pan on the rear that he can scoop out fist from the apex of the scoop. The other day, the little girl doing this wore the pan over her neepa hat. I wish I had the camera for that. I have made a vow to keep the camera with me at all times now.

Sister Sessions examining the sand. I don't think she enjoyed this walk as much as I did.

It was family bath time. Many families were at the beach washing themselves and their children. These families live up in neepa huts in the coconuts. The grinned and waved to us.

Fisherman coming in. I loved his sail. I helped him get his boat up on the beach. We each got on one side and lifted from the bamboo outrigger and carried it up on near the trees along the sand. The boat was very light. I asked, "How was the fishing?" He replied, "No fish." He had two little sardines in the bottom of his boat, so he was not successful this morning. 
Not much going today. There are baptisms in Culasi, Bugasong, and San Jose. We will teach with the Hamtic Elders and President Amar is coming over this evening to work on the computer, get some recipes from Sister S and I hope to talk to him a little about the upcoming leadership training. Made an appointment to meet President Aquino Monday to give him the Culasi Branch Application. That's it. . . 

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Friday the 14th:

I prayed and worried about my plight with the Filapino poor. Then, I am sure it was the Holy Ghost, told me to share the Gospel with them. That will, somehow, make things well.

I now sit and ponder this message. I know that if they come unto Him, that if they are faithful, He will prosper them in the land. I don't always think that means financial blessings, but they will have the Priesthood and He will bless them to be okay (strengthen them, make their food more nutritious, whatever He does . . . His thoughts being higher than ours and His ways higher than ours). If they act, He will bless them. I am falling into line here.

I believe it. Thanks be unto Him for a message of comfort to me, and some direction. I will work with patience to invite others to come unto Him.

Thursday the 13th

Huwebes, 13 sa Nobyembre

Nothing happening today. Yesterday I met with President Villavert and President Nabong. We had a good meeting and we hope it will be fruitful for Hamtic Branch. Sister S and I went to James' house with the Elders in the afternoon and had a good lesson on the commandments. We promised to get him some videos of conference and some information on the history of the church. We committed him to continue reading in the BoM, which will help him more than anything else to progress toward baptism. We told him he had to attend church 4 consecutive Sundays to indicate his commitment and then he can be baptized . He is a good man and he committed to attend church Sunday. We pray for him and pray he will keep his committments.

Today I went to find a place to paint after breakfast. I immediately got to a place that looked promising, but not great . . . then I needed to use the CR (comfort room . . . toilet), so I ripped back to the house. I then drove down through the town looking for a place to paint. I couldn't find a place where I liked the light. I went over to the port. The tide was out. Kids were trying to catch some fish to eat.

 On the way out of the port, I ran across the barangay office and liked the look, so I snapped it. Doesn't look as inviting on the picture.
I drove on out to Hamtic and parked along the highway at a place where I could access the beach easily. I walked down and looked around, but I was really not inspired much. I began to walk, no camera, no money, but I had not exercised and the sand was firm and felt good. I walked on down the beach, grabbing a plastic bag and I picked up a few pieces of glass and a wad of  fishing line that had killed a bird in the tangle. I talked to a couple of ladies.

The ladies were pushing a tripod type scoop (I will get a photograph later), collecting microscopic fish. I could barely see them in the pans. I asked what she would do with them. I couldn't imagine that one could even taste them if they were put on rice. It would take thousands to make a good bite. The lady told me that if she collected 100 of the little, I shall call them fry, she could earn 20 pesos. Holy Crap. She  worked for two hours while I walked and she told me she had 50, and she was very happy. I walked away and tears came. I pray for these poor people. Here, there are the haves, and the have nots, and the have nothings.

It felt so good to walk on the beach that I had gone too far and barely made it back to the truck. I drove up the way up the road and found another place to pull off and stopped. There were some sailing boats, fishing boats actually, heading in to shore. I grabbed my board and paper and hurried down to the sand, then quickly sketched two boats coming in and sat down to paint. The fishermen came in and I went and talked to the men for a few minutes. They were old, like me, had no teeth, and we laughed and visited about their catch. They tried to gross me out telling me they eat the eyes of the fish. I know that they do. I just laughed and congratulated them on all the fish they had gathered.

My painting is shown here. It is plein aire and I didn't foreshorten the boats properly, but I enjoyed myself and the photograph does not show the painting well for some reason. It is not great, but I like it and enjoyed the doing.

On the way home, I racked my brain on how we might help these people. All I can think of is to try to share the gospel with them. I know it will bless their lives like nothing else, but I also realize that they live in such poverty that they think of little else  beside food and shelter. I know the church is trying to help members learn to be self-reliant. The leaders say, "The Lord is self-reliant." Well, I know it is true, but I do not enjoy the argument, comparing oneself to the Lord.

On the way through San Jose, I stopped at my favorite fruit stand and bought some bananas and mangoes and felt guilty that I could so easily take care of myself and not worry about buying food, clothing, shelter. . .

The guy who runs the stand is a nice guy. I think he overcharges me a bit, but I like his fruit and I like him and don't care . . . I usually give him a little extra tip just for fun.

Tomorrow we are heading up to Culasi to help them get their branch application papers filled out and we will make plans with them to move apartments and set up an apartment in Tibiao where the missionaries can live and hold meetings. We look forward to the drive. It is very pretty and we have not been that way in over a month.

If anyone reads this, offer a little prayer for our brothers and sisters living here; those we don't even know. Pray also that their government will help them and stop stealing from them. Corruption appears to be rampant.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday ang 9

Llinggo, ang syiam sa Nobyembre

I was invited by the President to attend the "Cluster Meeting" at  Iloilo yesterday. Elder Ramon Nobleza of the area  presidency presided. He is an area 70. We started with a song and prayer. Bishop Igmedio Esmolo, of the Roxas Ward, gave the opening prayer. He was about 5 or 6 words into the prayer when the Spirit came. He must be a humble man. I was really glad to be there.

Elder Nobleza taught us starting in the 43rd Section of the D&C, verses 8-9. I love it in 9 where it says,
" . . . bind yourselves to act . . . " I could see leaders, families, friends, binding themselves to act. I thought of how we bind ourselves one to another; marriage, prayer circles, ordinances, promises, sustaining . . . giving a pledge. I remember taking the oath at the induction center in Boise many years ago, binding myself to uphold the president and the constitution and binding myself to others who pledged to do the same. I felt bound to the guys in the military and still do fee bound to them. I see this binding working in presidencies at all levels of the church.

We talked about technology, church welfare and support, marriage and family, strengthening our brethren, the Elder's Quorum, Aaronic Priesthood leadership, church discipline, and heard the testimonies of President Aquion and Elder Nobleza. It was a spiritual uplift that I needed. I shared much of this in our District Presidency Meeting this afternoon. Although President Villavert was at the meeting, I think much sunk-in this afternoon.  It was the last meeting of this sort. All will be done locally in the future and I expect they will use technology. It is the end of 13 years of meetings, started by Elder Oaks.

Elder Nobleza shared a quote that President Hinkley said some years back in such a meeting with Priesthood Leadership. He said something like, "When I die, I'd like it to be in a Priesthood Meeting. If I am hot quite dead and they carry me out on a stretcher, you will hear me shout, Retain!, Retain!, Retain!" That sounded like him and I liked it.

Elder N. talked about the Savior teaching Peter in Luke 22:32, and D&C 20:54-55 about being converted and strengthening his brethren. Elder said, speaking to leaders, "The number strengthened is a measure of your conversion." He told us to work together to rescue the weak. . . I know how that feels.

I pray daily, that my children will be strong and become ordinance oriented. Rescue your families and friends and their families. Strengthen each other. Bind yourselves together to strengthen and protect each other and your families and homes. Do this also in your church callings. Ask, what is needed to help a person stand prepared before the Lord at the last day . . . faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, sealing, priesthood, missions, scriptures? Then go after it, ACT. If I were to die before you saw me again, this is my epistle to you all. I do love the Savior. He is so merciful, so kind, so loving . . . there is nothing that will stop Him loving you. Me neither.

We attended Sacrament Meeting at Hamtic today and really enjoyed the meeting and seeing the friends with whom we have been involved over the months. Priesthood Meeting was very good. Sunday School was tough on me. Filipinos have a habit of talking while others are talking, and sometimes I could not make head or tails of the conversation, questions, or discussion. An old guy sat right next to Sister Sessions and talked incessantly. I asked her to slap him, but she would not. I made it through and learned little. I finally looked up Jeremiah in the Bible Disctionary and enjoyed reading about him. He was a good one. James was a no show for church today, the rascal.

It was a pretty day. The light has changed for this particular time of year and it is bright and beautiful as it reflects off trees and fronds and water.

In Iloilo on the grounds near the big cathedral. I have seen trees like this many times on Panay; the main tree is surrounded by other roots and vines from a completely different type of plant. It is beautiful and tough to distinguish any division.

Just beautiful light on the wall and plants outside Hamtic Chapel. Couldn't resist a pic.

Waiting in the trike for dad after church and anticipating the ride home.

Sister Bertelano and Ryan on the right. We were so glad to see them still hanging with the church. She is a missionary and one of the first we met with the Hamtic Elders up in the hills and her family farm. We love her and her boys.
Tomorrow we are zipping back over to Iloilo to have lunch with the Taylors. They are leaving for Oregon on Wednesday, I believe. Robinsons will meet us at the Days Inn for lunch. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thursday, Nov. 6

We went to branch home evening last night. It was scheduled for 5 , but Francis told me it would be, "Maybe 5:30 or 6:00." We went over at 5:30 and were only about 15 minutes late/early. 

It turned out to be a sort of going home party for Elder Lungren. His parents came to get him. Sister Rappleye turned up with her parents, so it was a double. I think everyone had a good time. 

We played games. We played Baggio, Bahay, Baboy, which translates to, storm, house, and pig. Divided into threes. . . Two face each other and take hands. One person then stands in between the hands and arms of the other two. The person in the middle is the pig. The two are the house. One person starts the game not being a Baboy, or Bahay. That person chants twice, "Baboy, Bahay, Baggio." Then he shouts one of the words. If Baboy, the pig must run to a new Bahay. If Bahay, the house dissolves and two others surround the pig. If the shout is Baggio, all three have to form a new house and pig.

If you are left out three times being part of the house or a pig,  you have to, "do a talent." I, lost three times and had a tough time thinking quickly of any talent that I might share. I burst into loud song. . . "Old Dan Tucker." I don't think anybody but the Americans understood a word, but they loved a loud song from the old fat guy.

Today we walked a little late, but it was overcast and pleasant. We talked about our fear of American attitudes toward government, election practices, hyporacy, and our fear of, and anger for Muslims. I don't care if, "not all Muslims are such and such." The radicals really put me off.  They have learned from lucifer to try and rob others of agency, particularly women. The Lord treated women specially, and so they are.

Nibley tells us that lucifer (I can't bring myself to even capitalize his name) was not kicked out because he did not agree with Father's Plan, but he brought forth violence to force his argument for not allowing agency. Being the "father of contention," lucifer is a master at the tactics he has shared with radicals everywhere and in every time period. Yes, I know, I would love to violently eradicate these trouble makers. Working on it, but I am not hopeful for this season.  I pray for an early arrival of The Lord. Hope He does not run on Filapino time.

Sister Sessions helped Sister Villavert practice baking this morning, so I went out to paint. I stopped at a place beside the beach and walked down. It was the headquarters for the Marine Sanctuary at San Jose. A guy told me, "There is a man from America, Los Angeles, who works here, right inside." He went get the guy and it turned out to be Dana, a young woman we met months ago at the track. She is with the Peace Corp and is hear to help the Filapinos save their ocean, food supply, environment. She teaches two classes a day, mostly to 5th graders. I sat in on the class. The language her does not differentiate sexes. . . He/she = siya and they use it interchangeably. When Dulito talks about Lily, he refers to her using the pronoun, he. They are working on the English.
Dana fell and hurt her knee a few days ago. I built a crutch out of bamboo and Sister Sessions and I will run it out to her when the epoxy sets. They have snorkel gear at the Marine Preserve to loan. Dana says a beautiful reef rest about 100 meters off shore. Maybe I will take a swim.

I didn't get any painting done, but I have some good pictures. Sister Villavert has a classic Polynesian, Asain, Filapina face. I snapped this pic while we sat talking, waiting for snicker doodles that I can't eat.  I will paint her portrait. I am into portraiture right now. 

I took. Few pics on the way home from the beach. I liked this doorway and see it in oil. Same for this old derelict truck.
I pulled into the cemetery because the light was so beautiful on the trees. This grave caught my eye. I am sure it was decorated on All Saints Day, a custom here. It felt funny thinking of painting here, so I went on home. 

Tomorrow we have even less to do, so perhaps we will . . . Do something good?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Ang 5th

District meetings yesterday. We talked about hastening the work mostly. I had the handbook presentation. I talked about page Meetings, page 63. I believe we need to take our district, zone meetings way more seriously and use them to train, inspire, charge batteries. . .

We went to James house with the Hamtic Elders and taught the Law of Chastity. He is on top of it, with similar beliefs as the church. No problems there, or with the Word of Wisdom, it appears. I ran him through the baptism interview questions; to show the missionaries how to use the questions in conjunction with the baptism invitation, checking for understanding, and general preparation for baptism. James did well and we found out that he did not know who Pres. Monson's is, so we can teach that, and he has never heard of tithing. Next lesson is outlined by using the interview to probe. He is progressing. On the way to his house, we ran into their local Barangay fiesta. It added about half hour to the drive as we could not pass.

Today Francis is coming over to study Tagalog with me. I read that a general authority promised missionaries that if they read the BoM in the language of their mission, they would know the language by the end of the reading. I started reading last night. . . Whoa! It actually got a little, and I enjoyed the Spirit, I think. It was comfortable, is the way I would describe the feeling, but I have far to go. 

Elder Shaffer's Ike. He asked me to paint something to remember his mission by.